Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Tuesday's Exhibition Games

Thomas hits two more homers

The Associated Press

The Big Hurt is swinging a big bat again. Frank Thomas homered twice and drove in four runs as the Chicago White Sox beat the Seattle Mariners 9-4 Tuesday. The two-time AL MVP went 3-for-3 and has three homers in two days since coming back from wisdom tooth surgery.

"I'm not real excited about (the home runs)," Thomas said. "It's still spring training. I was more impressed with the line drive base hit."

The 34-year-old Thomas is hoping to regain the swing that made him one of the most feared hitters in baseball throughout the 1990s. He won MVP awards in 1993 and '94.

Thomas had a big season in 2000 but has not made the All-Star team since 1997. He played in only 20 games because of injuries in 2001 and had 28 homers and 92 RBIs last year - but he batted only .252.

After criticizing White Sox management and teammate Paul Konerko early in spring training, one of the most important things Thomas has done since is patch things up with manager Jerry Manuel.

"Sure, I think I can get back (to the MVP level)," Thomas said. "The dedication is there, the focus is there. But it won't be a selfish thing anymore. Magglio Ordonez is behind me, and he's one of the greatest young hitters in the league. Maybe (having Ordonez behind him) will make it easier for me to get back to where I was."

Also, 16 members of the White Sox were ready to refuse a drug test Tuesday in hopes of making steroid testing mandatory.

The players ultimately decided to take the test after consulting with Gene Orza, the No. 2 official of the players' union.

It wasn't clear if Thomas was among the players who considered refusing the test. But he has said several times that he wants to see mandatory testing.

"Obviously, there are some players out there using that stuff," he said. "Hopefully, the game won't be embarrassed by it. But until we officially test and get the names out there, we'll never know who it is.

"Hopefully, (names) will come out in the future and guys on it can be helped off," Thomas added. "We need this game to be played on an equal playing field for everyone. Guys are taking things now that can kill them, so it is a problem."

In other games:

Mets 6, Expos 6, 11 innings

At Viera, Fla., Brad Wilkerson had three extra-base hits and Montreal roughed up Tom Glavine in a game called after 11 innings. Glavine was tagged for four runs and nine hits in 3 2-3 innings.

Red Sox 5, Marlins 4

At Jupiter, Fla., Kevin Millar traded barbs with his former teammates, then went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs to help Boston beat Florida.

Blue Jays 5, Astros 0

At Dunedin, Fla., Cory Lidle allowed four hits in four innings as Toronto extended its shutout streak to 20 innings. Orlando Hudson and Shannon Stewart hit solo homers in the third off Roy Oswalt, who allowed three runs and four hits in five innings.

Braves 5, Dodgers 3

At Kissimmee, Fla., Atlanta ace Greg Maddux was perfect for his second straight outing, facing the minimum 12 batters in four scoreless innings.

Odalis Perez, starting for the Dodgers, pitched four scoreless innings against his former team, allowing three hits.

Twins 9, Pirates 1

At Fort Myers, Fla., Jacque Jones hit his third home run of the spring and Chris Gomez went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and a two-run double for Minnesota.

Brad Radke gave up just one hit in four innings in his third start. Pirates right-hander Kris Benson gave up five runs - four earned - in three innings.

Indians 9, Phillies 8

At Clearwater, Fla., Cleveland starter C.C. Sabathia allowed one run and four hits in four innings in his best outing of the spring. Sabathia had a 12.60 ERA in his first two spring training starts, giving up seven runs and seven hits in five innings.

Bobby Abreu and Ricky Ledee had two-run homers in the seventh for Philadelphia.

Orioles 4, Cardinals 0

At Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Rodrigo Lopez and two relievers combined on a four-hitter as Baltimore beat St. Louis.

Lopez, the Orioles' probable opening day pitcher, allowed three singles in five innings - the longest outing by a Baltimore starter this spring. Jeff Conine drove in three runs and Jerry Hairston had three hits for the Orioles.

Matt Morris, the Cardinals' opening day starter, gave up four runs and nine hits in 4 1-3 innings.

Tigers 3, Yankees 2

At Tampa, Fla., Roger Clemens allowed two unearned runs and two hits over four innings as Detroit dropped New York to a major league-worst 3-9.

New York made four more errors, raising its total to 18 this spring. Eleven of the 87 runs allowed by the Yankees been unearned.

Rockies 9, Athletics 3

At Phoenix, Garrett Atkins went 4-for-5 with a homer, and Chris Stynes had three hits for Colorado. The Rockies got four runs and five hits off John Halama in the first inning.

Diamondbacks 5, Rangers 4

At Surprise, Ariz., Randy Johnson struck out four of his first five batters but his scoreless streak ended at 11 innings.

Johnson, who has won four straight NL Cy Young Awards, allowed three runs and seven hits in four innings, striking out six and walking none for Arizona.

Brewers 5, Padres 4

At Peoria, Ariz., Ben Sheets pitched three scoreless innings and Jed Hansen hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh for Milwaukee.

San Diego starter Brian Lawrence gave up one run and two hits in four innings, striking out three.

Royals 14, Cubs 1

At Mesa, Ariz., Raul Ibanez drove in four runs and Kansas City starter Darrell May left after throwing only three pitches because of tightness in his left thigh. The team said he came out only as a precaution.

Chicago starter Matt Clement worked four innings, giving up three hits and three runs - two earned.

Angels 5, Giants 4

At Tempe, Ariz., Mickey Callaway pitched four scoreless innings as Anaheim won a rematch of last year's World Series.

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